This huge novel, closer in scope to a Russian epic than to any English counterpart, opens at the turn of the century in the extreme poverty of the Rhinns of Galloway, an agricultural backwater of the southern-most part of Scotland. With a loving regard for the land and its people, Barke traces the lives of David and Jean Ramsay who, full of hope, painstakingly uproot themselves and their family in the search for prosperity. Their efforts to retain respect and a decent way of life are thwarted by unemployment in increasingly hostile circumstances, and a harsh environment inevitably leaves its mark. But a new generation emerges to question the authority of an uncaring society and, even as Fascism rages through Europe, a new hope is born. 'Barke's characters are both intelligent and spirited.' Times Literary Supplement 'An elegy for the old way of life.' New Statesman

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